Vanderbilt University
  • No. Students: 12605
  • No. Staff: 4179
  • Study mode: 20 On campus
  • Languages of instruction: English
  • Phone:
  • +16153227311

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About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University (also known informally as Vandy) is a private research university founded in 1873 and located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was named in honor of shipping and rail magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided the school its initial $1 million endowment despite having never been to the South. Vanderbilt hoped that his gift and the greater work of the university would help to heal the sectional wounds inflicted by the Civil War.

Today, Vanderbilt enrolls approximately 12,000 students from all 50 U.S. states and over 90 foreign countries in four undergraduateand six graduate and professional schools. Several research centers and institutes are affiliated with the university, including the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, Dyer Observatory, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the only Level I trauma center in Middle Tennessee. With the exception of the off-campus observatory and satellite medical clinics, all of the university's facilities are situated on its 330-acre (1.3 km2) campus in the heart of Nashville, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from downtown. Despite its urban surroundings, the campus itself is a national arboretum and features over 300 different species of trees and shrubs.

  • College of Arts and Science

    The College of Arts and Science’s undergraduate students come from the 50 states and many foreign countries, and are almost evenly divided between men and women. There are approximately 4,200 Arts and Science undergraduates. In 2012/13, Economics had the most majors, followed by Medicine, Health, and Society, Political Science, Neuroscience, Psychology, English, and Mathematics.

    Graduate students who study in the College of Arts and Science actually are enrolled in the Graduate School, rather than being enrolled directly in A&S. Annual enrollment of graduate students generally ranges from 850 to 900. Many graduate students, particularly in the natural sciences, are funded by grants, and availability of funds is one factor that affects the number of graduate students enrolled.

    A&S has approximately 370 tenured or tenure-track professors who supplement their achievements in the classroom with significant research, writing, and creative production. Approximately ninety of these professors hold distinguished or other named professorships. Many faculty members hold awards for their scholarship and have been elected to high offices in professional associations. Over the course of an academic year, A&S also appoints approximately 200 non-tenured full-time lecturers and other faculty who are heavily involved in teaching and research, as well as part-time non-tenured faculty who may teach one or two courses in which they have particular expertise.

    Between 250 and 300 staff members work in A&S. Because many staff positions are funded by grants, contracts, and faculty members’ research funds, the number can vary based on the availability of funds outside the basic Arts and Science operating budget. Staff support the mission of A&S in both administrative and research roles.

    The College of Arts and Science occupies nearly 1.1 million square feet in 23 buildings, located across the campus.

  • Blair School of Music

    The Blair School of Music serves as the focal point within Vanderbilt University for the study of music as a human endeavor and as a performing art. Music offers to all persons a medium for the expression of the human spirit. Accordingly, the Blair School of Music addresses music through a broad array of academic, pedagogical, and performing activities. Consistent with the mission of Vanderbilt University, the School maintains and promotes the highest standards in the pursuit of scholarly and creative work, in the delivery of instruction, and in the promotion of professional and public service.

    In its scholarly and creative work, the Blair School of Music proposes to advance the discovery of knowledge, to expand the horizons of musical expression, to promote academic excellence, and to sustain an environment supporting these pursuits by faculty and students.

    Pedagogically, the Blair School is committed to providing superior musical instruction to pre-collegiate and adult students in the environs of Nashville, Tennessee; stimulating classroom and studio instruction to collegiate music majors and minors; and, to the students of Vanderbilt University at large, an array of academically rigorous, culturally enriching courses appropriate to one of the nations' leading institutions of higher learning.

    In its commitment to professional and public service, the Blair School of Music contributes to cultural and intellectual life at Vanderbilt University and throughout the region through concerts, lectures, and recitals by faculty and students, and by providing a forum for visiting artists, scholars, and composers of national stature.

  • Divinity School

    The Divinity School is committed to preparation for ministry and scholarship in a variety of settings with a focus on our interdenominational spirit and our desire to be a diverse community of teaching and learning. We do so with a strong sense of the importance of providing a lively context to help clergy and laity not only prepare for Christian ministry, but to re-envision ministry to meet the needs of our times by combining spiritual and intellectual growth with a sense of social justice and the formation of a new generation of scholars.

    The Divinity School has been a part of Vanderbilt University since its inception. We are one of the few university-based, interdenominational schools for the preparation of ministers and the oldest one in the South. Our nineteenth-century founders adopted a commonplace label for theological institutions of their era, “school of the prophets,” as they sought to lift up the importance of education for clergy. Today, we accept this legacy as we live in a world of a large tent Christianity, religious pluralism, an ever-expanding understanding of the nature of the diversities in our midst, marvelous and challenging cultural differences and more.

  • School of Engineering

    Our Mission

    1. Produce intellectual leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators by recruiting the best students and providing them a top-notch education.
    2. Deliver scholarship of the highest caliber, published in the most visible venues, addressing important societal problems..
    3. Be a leader in entrepreneurship and innovation, in Tennessee, the U.S., and globally.
    4. Strengthen our "go-to" image within Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

    The Vanderbilt School of Engineering is internationally recognized for the superior quality of its research and education programs in selected fields of engineering. The School prepares students to become leaders and innovators in solving increasingly challenging and significant problems. The School includes five major departments and the Division of General Engineering:

    • Biomedical Engineering 
    • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 
    • Civil and Environmental Engineering 
    • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • General Engineering 

  • Graduate School

    The Graduate School is one of the ten colleges and schools of Vanderbilt University. The Graduate School is the pathway and official school of record for Graduate School student applications, admissions, registration and enrollment, monitoring and recording of academic progress and milestones (residency, qualifying examinations, candidacy, defense of dissertation), and the awarding of degrees.

  • Law School

    The skills of lawyers, including the skills of analyzing complex issues, asking the right questions, advocating for clients, and managing disputes and organizations, are best taught in a rigorous setting by first-rate faculty, in the company of outstanding classmates.

    At Vanderbilt, you'll find a faculty that is second to none in combining excellent and demanding teaching with important and influential research. More than anywhere else, Vanderbilt professors are demanding in class and accessible outside it. Our faculty and staff work hard to model, in every class and every program, best practices in teaching law. As a result, our graduates are in high demand, with hundreds of employers visiting Vanderbilt every year to recruit our students for positions throughout the U.S. and abroad.

  • School of Medicine

    Vanderbilt University School of Medicine trains leaders in medicine by providing the best faculty and physicians in the best learning environment for the best students in the world. We are known for our personal attention and our customized medical education. Our research program is the fastest growing in the United States.

    Our ranking among the top medical schools comes not just from an innovative curriculum and state-of-the-art facilities, it comes from our commitment to people.

    Students and faculty learn in an environment that supports excellence in education, patient care and research. Since 1875, the School of Medicine has made education its highest priority. We seek the best and brightest students and provide them with a foundation in the basic and clinical sciences that enables them to become leaders and scholars. Our dedicated faculty work closely with each student in a supportive environment that encourages creative thinking and diversity.

  • School of Nursing

    Nursing is the most trusted profession in the world, and one that requires a rare combination of human, technical and critical thinking skills. We offer everything you need to become a successful advanced practice nurse.

    Our Master of Science in Nursing program offers innovative educational approaches, multiple entry options attractive to nurses and non-nurses alike as well as many specialties – some with flexible scheduling and distance learning opportunities. And our PhD and DNP programs are graduating world-class research-focused and practice-focused nurse scholars who are making a difference in our discipline and for patients everywhere.

    At Vanderbilt School of Nursing, you have incomparable opportunities to learn from leading educators, providers and researchers from the world of nursing. We have one of the most extensive nurse faculty practice networks anywhere, and we are deeply committed to theory and research that will serve as the foundation for much of your coursework. Our program also offers the latest informatics technology woven throughout to aid you as a student and in your career.

    We hear from many employers that there’s something special about a Vanderbilt-educated graduate, and we agree. You will enter as an eager student and graduate as a practice-ready professional or nurse scholar who will make a difference in many lives and will help shape the future of health care.

  • Owen Graduate School of Management

    Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is a business school unlike others. Here you can shape your world, however you define it. Whether you are a prospective student looking to catapult your career, a faculty or staff member wanting to make an impact in your chosen profession, a recruiter needing top talent for your organization, or an alumnus—whom we value highly as part of this enduring community—you have Our Promise: a promise to do everything within our power to help you achieve your professional goals.

  • Peabody College of education and human development

    Peabody College of education and human development makes a difference in the lives of thousands of people by creating new knowledge. Some of our most recent work focuses on understanding how:

    • cultural differences affect language skills
    • public policy affects school administration
    • communities can relieve adolescent depression or the effects of maternal depression on children
    • what does and does not work with federal support for homeless families
    • what is next for pre-K education programs, and
    • how the state of Tennessee can improve delivery of education and human services

    In these and many other projects, Peabody partners with metropolitan, state, and national organizations on funded research projects. Our collaboration with the larger Vanderbilt community opens up even more possibilities for exploration.

    We are ranked among the best. Each year U.S. News & World Report ranks Peabody among the best graduate schools of education in the country. For 2017, Peabody programs ranking are:

    • Administration/Supervision, 1st
    • Special Education, 2nd
    • Education Policy, 4th
    • Elementary Education, 5th
    • Curriculum/Instruction, 6th
    • Educational Psychology, 8th
    • Higher Education Administration, 8th
    • Secondary Education, 9th

History of Vanderbilt University

Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was in his 79th year when he decided to make the gift that founded Vanderbilt University in the spring of 1873.

The $1 million that he gave to endow and build the university was the commodore's only major philanthropy. Methodist Bishop Holland N. McTyeire of Nashville, husband of Amelia Townsend who was a cousin of the commodore's young second wife Frank Crawford, went to New York for medical treatment early in 1873 and spent time recovering in the Vanderbilt mansion. He won the commodore's admiration and support for the project of building a university in the South that would "contribute to strengthening the ties which should exist between all sections of our common country."

McTyeire chose the site for the campus, supervised the construction of buildings and personally planted many of the trees that today make Vanderbilt a national arboretum. At the outset, the university consisted of one Main Building (now Kirkland Hall), an astronomical observatory and houses for professors. Landon C. Garland was Vanderbilt's first chancellor, serving from 1875 to 1893. He advised McTyeire in selecting the faculty, arranged the curriculum and set the policies of the university.

For the first 40 years of its existence, Vanderbilt was under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The Vanderbilt Board of Trust severed its ties with the church in June 1914 as a result of a dispute with the bishops over who would appoint university trustees.

From the outset, Vanderbilt met two definitions of a university: It offered work in the liberal arts and sciences beyond the baccalaureate degree and it embraced several professional schools in addition to its college. James H. Kirkland, the longest serving chancellor in university history (1893-1937), followed Chancellor Garland. He guided Vanderbilt to rebuild after a fire in 1905 that consumed the main building, which was renamed in Kirkland's honor, and all its contents. He also navigated the university through the separation from the Methodist Church. Notable advances in graduate studies were made under the third chancellor, Oliver Cromwell Carmichael (1937-46). He also created the Joint University Library, brought about by a coalition of Vanderbilt, Peabody College and Scarritt College.

Remarkable continuity has characterized the government of Vanderbilt. The original charter, issued in 1872, was amended in 1873 to make the legal name of the corporation "The Vanderbilt University." The charter has not been altered since.

The university is self-governing under a Board of Trust that, since the beginning, has elected its own members and officers. The university's general government is vested in the Board of Trust. The immediate government of the university is committed to the chancellor, who is elected by the Board of Trust.

The original Vanderbilt campus consisted of 75 acres. By 1960, the campus had spread to about 260 acres of land. When George Peabody College for Teachers merged with Vanderbilt in 1979, about 53 acres were added.

Vanderbilt's student enrollment tended to double itself each 25 years during the first century of the university's history: 307 in the fall of 1875; 754 in 1900; 1,377 in 1925; 3,529 in 1950; 7,034 in 1975. In the fall of 1999 the enrollment was 10,127.

In the planning of Vanderbilt, the assumption seemed to be that it would be an all-male institution. Yet the board never enacted rules prohibiting women. At least one woman attended Vanderbilt classes every year from 1875 on. Most came to classes by courtesy of professors or as special or irregular (non-degree) students. From 1892 to 1901 women at Vanderbilt gained full legal equality except in one respect -- access to dorms. In 1894 the faculty and board allowed women to compete for academic prizes. By 1897, four or five women entered with each freshman class. By 1913 the student body contained 78 women, or just more than 20 percent of the academic enrollment.

National recognition of the university's status came in 1949 with election of Vanderbilt to membership in the select Association of American Universities. In the 1950s Vanderbilt began to outgrow its provincial roots and to measure its achievements by national standards under the leadership of Chancellor Harvie Branscomb. By its 90th anniversary in 1963, Vanderbilt for the first time ranked in the top 20 private universities in the United States.

Vanderbilt continued to excel in research, and the number of university buildings more than doubled under the leadership of Chancellors Alexander Heard (1963-1982) and Joe B. Wyatt (1982-2000), only the fifth and sixth chancellors in Vanderbilt's long and distinguished history. Heard added three schools (Blair, the Owen Graduate School of Management and Peabody College) to the seven already existing and constructed three dozen buildings. During Wyatt's tenure, Vanderbilt acquired or built one-third of the campus buildings and made great strides in diversity, volunteerism and technology.

The university grew and changed significantly under its seventh chancellor, Gordon Gee, who served from 2000 to 2007. Vanderbilt led the country in the rate of growth for academic research funding, which increased to more than $450 million and became one of the most selective undergraduate institutions in the country.

On March 1, 2008, Nicholas S. Zeppos was named Vanderbilt's eighth chancellor after serving as interim chancellor beginning Aug. 1, 2007. Prior to that, he spent 2002-2008 as Vanderbilt's provost, overseeing undergraduate, graduate and professional education programs as well as development, alumni relations and research efforts in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education, business, law and divinity. He first came to Vanderbilt in 1987 as an assistant professor in the law school. In his first five years, Zeppos led the university through the most challenging economic times since the Great Depression, while continuing to attract the best students and faculty from across the country and around the world. Vanderbilt got through the economic crisis notably less scathed than many of its peers and began and remained committed to its much-praised enhanced financial aid policy for all undergraduates during the same timespan. The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons for first-year students opened in 2008 and College Halls, the next phase in the residential education system at Vanderbilt, is on track to open in the fall of 2014. During Zeppos' first five years, Vanderbilt has drawn robust support from federal funding agencies, and the Medical Center entered into agreements with regional hospitals and health care systems in middle and east Tennessee that will bring Vanderbilt care to patients across the state.

Today, Vanderbilt University is a private research university of about 6,500 undergraduates and 5,300 graduate and professional students. The university comprises 10 schools, a public policy center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees. The university is consistently ranked as one of the nation's top 20 universities by publications such as U.S. News & World Report, with several programs and disciplines ranking in the top 10.

Cutting-edge research and liberal arts, combined with strong ties to a distinguished medical center, creates an invigorating atmosphere where students tailor their education to meet their goals and researchers collaborate to solve complex questions affecting our health, culture and society.

Vanderbilt, an independent, privately supported university, and the separate, non-profit Vanderbilt University Medical Center share a respected name and enjoy close collaboration through education and research. Together, the number of people employed by these two organizations exceeds that of the largest private employer in the Middle Tennessee region.


USA requirements for international students

Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100. 

After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department. 

Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.


Accreditation

The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degrees. 

Rankings

U.S. News & World Report

  • 15th — National Universities
  • 8th — Best Undergraduate Teaching
  • 12th — Best Value
  • 13th — Best Colleges for Veterans
  • 14th — National Universities Favored by High School Counselors
  • 3rd — Graduate Schools of Education (Peabody College)
  • 11th — Graduate Nursing Schools
  • 14th — Medical Schools (Research)
  • 17th — Law Schools
  • 27th — Graduate Business Schools (Owen Graduate School of Management)
  • 35th — Graduate Engineering Schools
  • 36th — Undergraduate Engineering Schools
  • 74th — Best Global Universities (of 750 worldwide) 

Kiplinger

  • 6th — Best Values in Private Universities

Bloomberg Businessweek

  • 34th — Best Full-Time MBA Programs (Owen School)

Princeton Review

  • 1st — Colleges with the Happiest Students
  • 7th — Best Financial Aid
  • 10th — Best Quality of Life, Alumni Network and College City

Student life @Vanderbilt University

Organizations

The university recognizes nearly 530 student organizations, ranging from academic major societies and honoraries to recreational sports clubs, the oldest of which is the Vanderbilt Sailing Club.

One publication, The Vanderbilt Hustler, was established in 1888 and is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Nashville. In Langford v. Vanderbilt University (1956), a student sued the university for libel; the Tennessee court dismissed the lawsuit, concluding the university was not the owner of the newspaper. Additional student publications include those published by the College of Arts & Science (Vanderbilt Historical Review and Vanderbilt Political Review) and the Vanderbilt University Law School, which publishes three law reviews; the flagship journal is the Vanderbilt Law Review. The on-campus radio station, WRVU, represents the student body by playing a range of music from bluegrass to choral, with a focus on non-mainstream music.

Vanderbilt also has a large performing arts community spanning every genre of the arts with multiple organizations representing each category. There are dance groups covering contemporary, tap, hip hop, Latin, and Bhangra styles as well as numerous theatre, improvisation, spoken word, music and singing groups including the 2014 Sing-Off champion male a cappella group, The Melodores. Performing arts organizations comprise over 1,000 students and are represented by the Vanderbilt Performing Arts Community, which supports groups by sponsoring performances and awards.

The university is home to 17 fraternities and 16 sororities as of Spring 2015. As of 2006–2007, 35% of men were members of fraternities and 49% of women were members of sororities, or 42% of the total undergraduate population.

In 2012, students took part in the Occupy movement on campus. They pitched tents outside Kirkland Hall.

The student body is governed by Vanderbilt Student Government, which includes Senate, Judicial, and Executive Branches. This organization is responsible for the distribution of nearly $2 million in funds set aside by the university to fund student organizations.

Honor code

Vanderbilt students are required to sign an Honor Code, agreeing to conform to a certain set of behaviors.There is an Honor Council, comprising a student executive board and representatives from each class year, that enforces and protects the Honor Code and to informs members of the Vanderbilt community about the Honor System. Violations can lead to discipline or expulsion from the university. In 2009, a student sued the university over his expulsion.

Dean of Students Charles Madison Sarratt explained the honor code:

Today I am going to give you two examinations, one in trigonometry and one in honesty. I hope you will pass them both, but if you must fail one, let it be trigonometry, for there are many good men in this world today who cannot pass an examination in trigonometry, but there are no good men in the world who cannot pass an examination in honesty.

Student housing

Generally, undergraduate students are required to live in dorms on campus, with first-year students all living in the ten resident halls on Peabody Campus and all upperclassmen living on the main campus. Exceptions are made for students living with relatives in Davidson County, students with health exemptions, married students, and some students with senior standing. Two of the new residence halls have received LEED silver certification and the new Commons Dining Center has received gold certification, making Vanderbilt the only university in the state to be recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council. The university expects all five of the new residence halls and one renovated residence hall to eventually receive LEED recognition. The total cost of The Commons construction project is expected to be over $150 million. In the summer of 2012, the university demolished the pre-existing dormitories known as the Kissam Quadrangle and broke ground on the Warren and Moore residential colleges, a new living and learning community following the system of the Commons. The project cost $115 million and opened its doors in August 2014.

Athletics

Vanderbilt is a charter member of the Southeastern Conference and for a half-century has been the conference's only private school. The university fields six men's and nine women's intercollegiate teams. With fewer than 6,600 undergraduates, the school is also the smallest in the conference; the SEC's next-smallest school, the University of Mississippi, has nearly twice as many undergraduate students. Additionally, the school is a member of the Big East Conference for women's lacrosse, as the SEC does not sponsor that sport. Conversely, Vanderbilt is the only league school not to field teams in softball and volleyball, but has discussed adding either or both sports in the future.

Men's and women's tennis and men's and women's basketball are traditionally Vanderbilt's strongest sports. Both basketball teams play in quirky Memorial Gym, built in 1952. The homecourt advantage Vanderbilt has enjoyed has been nicknamed "Memorial Magic". The women's tennis team won the NCAA national championship in 2015.

In February 2016, the university was fined $100,000 by the Southeastern Conference after fans stormed the basketball court following a win.

Athletics restructuring

The university is unique in NCAA Division I in that for several years the athletics department was not administered separately from other aspects of campus life; Vice Chancellor David Williams, who was over intercollegiate athletics, also was university counsel and in charge of other aspects of undergraduate campus life such as intramural sports. Despite fears that Vanderbilt would lose coaches and recruits or would be forced out of the SEC, the university experienced considerable success after the change; 2006–07 was one of the best in the school's athletic history. At one point, seven of Vanderbilt's 16 teams were concurrently ranked in the Top 25 of their respective sports. Women's bowling won the NCAA championship, bringing the university its first team championship since the advent of the NCAA. The baseball team qualified for the NCAA Super Regionals in 2004, had the nation's top recruiting class in 2005 according to Baseball America, made the NCAA field again in 2006, and won the 2007 SEC regular-season and tournament championships and won the NCAA college world series in 2014 (the university's only men's national championship). Vanderbilt was ranked first in most polls for a large portion of the 2007 season, and the team secured the top seed in the 2007 NCAA tournament., However, following the departure of former Chancellor Gordon Gee to return to Ohio State University, the experiment was phased out and Williams has officially been given the formal title of athletic director and slowly relieved of his other responsibilities in order to allow him to concentrate on this role on a full-time basis.

Mascot

Vanderbilt's intercollegiate athletics teams are nicknamed the Commodores, in honor of the nickname given to Cornelius Vanderbilt, who made his fortune in shipping. The term commodore was used by the Navy during the mid-to-late 19th century. A commodore was the commanding officer of a task force of ships, and therefore higher in rank than a captain but lower in rank than an admiral. The rank is still used by the British Royal Navy and other Commonwealth countries, but the equivalent modern-day rank in the U.S. Navy is rear admiral lower half. Since the term was used most during the 19th century, Vanderbilt's mascot, "Mr. C", is usually portrayed as a naval officer from the late 19th century, complete with mutton chops, cutlass, and uniform.

In addition to Mr. C, Vanderbilt fans often use the cheer "Anchor down!" accompanied by the "VU" hand sign, created by extending the thumb along with the index and middle fingers.

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